As a former AFC East head coach, Tony Sparano became very familiar with the New York Jets. Now New York's offensive coordinator, Sparano is excited to begin working with the players he has game planned against for the past several seasons. (via Sports Radio Interviews)
"I'm really excited about being a part of the entire Jets organization here and getting a chance to work with Rex [Ryan] here and work for Rex. I'm really excited about that opportunity too. Being on the other sideline against the Jets here for the last several years. I certainly know an awful lot about this football team, our division and a lot of players on the team that way. It's what intrigued me about this opportunity is to be a part of that with some of these players here and getting a chance to work with them. As far as Mark goes I am very excited about getting a chance to work with Mark Sanchez. When you are in the other locker room he causes you so many problems in your preparation because of the way he can move and escape and extend plays and make all the throws. This guy has won a lot of games in the 4th quarter of games, so those type of things are the things that excite me."
Sparano understands his reputation as a run-first offensive mind, but considers himself capable of coaching a solid passing unit and believes he can help the Jets improve their ability to make big plays.
"My backround is I have been part of this whole run thing, but when you look at us here in Miami whether or not I was in Miami or Dallas or any of those places even back into my college days, I have a lot exposure throwing the football, coached tight ends in three different places in our league...so when you are coaching a tight end you are trying to get him the football, so you don't want to run it that way, but I do recognize playing games in our division and you have to be able to run the football and play in games in the month of December here. You have to be able to run the football. With that being said, plus 20-yard plays are things we need to be better at certainly. It's an area we've improved on in Miami as we were one of the top teams in plus 20-yard plays and then when I was in Dallas as well."
Though Sanchez has been under a considerable amount of scrutiny this offseason, Sparano believes the young quarterback has a lot of upside.
"I absolutely do. I can't wait to get him back and get him going again. Right now all these guys need a little bit of rest, but when the time comes and the league allows us to be able to do that we are looking forward to getting him and getting him going. You are absolutely correct when you talk about looking at the numbers and looking at the three year numbers and those type of things I think when you put all the numbers together on the table you see an arrow up here for Mark. I really liked this kid coming out of the draft. I spent a lot of time with him and again I can just tell you what it is like on the other side of the line when you are playing against him and he causes you problems."